A career as a dog trainer can be challenging, rewarding and fun. However, like most jobs – it’s not for everyone. Indeed, there are certain qualities that might make you more likely to succeed and enjoy dog training for many years.
Yes, a love of dogs is essential, as is a certain level of fitness and mobility. Yet, there are a few other traits that can help ensure a long and fruitful career as a dog trainer. Here are six qualities that can help you shine.
Okay, so it may sound obvious but some people actually enter into dog training education programs thinking that they’ll only be communicating with animals. Not so.
To be a great dog trainer you need to be able to effectively communicate with humans too. After all, the owners are often the cause of behavioural issues in dogs. Certainly, some owners will not be happy to hear this so you’ll need to tread carefully. This is where those communication skills and diplomacy will really come into play!
Much of dog training is about educating the owners and passing on the skills to assist them in continuing to train their dog. As a dog trainer, you’re not only training the animal but also training the pet owner to change their ways.
A dog trainer must understand why a dog behaves in a certain way. Once they understand the cause of the troublesome behaviour they can adopt methods to help the dog change its behaviour.
As such, understanding both the dog and its owner are essential. It may be that the owner is unknowingly doing something to reinforce its dog’s bad behaviour. It’s only through understanding and good communication that you’ll be able to identify the issue and iron it out.
Being a caring dog trainer isn’t just about loving dogs and giving your furry clients lots of pats and attention. A truly caring dog trainer is 100 per cent committed to helping dogs and their owners.
Displaying this level of care will not only make you a great dog trainer, it’ll also assist you to build a strong and reputable reputation. A caring nature will help you create strong bonds with your clients — human and furry! It’ll also help make dog training a rewarding career.
Okay, so I know I said a love of dogs isn’t enough to make you a great dog trainer — nonetheless, it’s an essential trait. However, some people “love” dogs, but they’re not passionate enough about them to work with them day in day out. Likewise, some people “love” well-behaved, cuddly dogs but they’re not so keen on angry, unruly canines.
To be a professional dog trainer you need to be truly passionate about dogs in every sense of the word. You need the desire to understand what drives them and what training method resonates with them. Dog trainers are passionate about dogs, no matter what the breed is.
Ask yourself, are you a glass half empty or a glass half full kind of person. It takes time and patience to positively change a dog’s behaviour. Indeed, a positive attitude is crucial.
After all, some dogs can change quite quickly; others may take a long time to adopt a new behaviour. The challenge for dog trainers is to stay positive and to know when a different method of training is required or how to get the most from the dog.
There will be days when it feels like everything is going wrong. There will be times when you feel super frustrated. These are the occasions when a sound sense of humour is needed.
If you can keep things light-hearted and not take yourself too seriously, you’ll make it through the day unscathed. Thankfully, dogs are amazing at helping us humans feel loved and appreciated.
Ultimately, even the most stubborn pooch has the ability to learn but sometimes it takes the knowledge and capacity of a professional dog trainer to motivate the dog. Just imagine how rewarding it is to positively change a dog’s behaviour and put a smile on its owners face!
If you’re a professional dog trainer, we’d love to hear what traits you think are essential.
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